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Rotary presents Christmas funds to DHR

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Rotary Club of Chilton County recently presented a donation to the Chilton County Department of Human Resources to purchase gifts for children in foster care.

The club collected donations from those who registered a float in the annual Clanton Christmas Parade, then matched those funds to bring the total to $1,840.

“The Rotary Club wants to thank the people of Chilton County who contributed,” Rotarian Gordon Swenson said.

Chilton County DHR Director Marilyn Colson said the funds will mostly be used to buy presents for teenagers who are in foster care. Any leftover funds will be used to meet the needs of foster care children in the county throughout the year.

There are 50 or more teenagers in foster care in Chilton County.

“The gifts that we buy is for their Christmas morning,” Colson said. “For the little ones, it’s Santa. This is a way to help the foster parents because they have limited funds. They couldn’t afford to buy Christmas for all of them.”

She said the presents make the day special for the children and youth.

“Some of them may have never had a Christmas like this before,” Colson said. “Although what they really want is family.”

There are 150 children in foster care right now in Chilton County. The amount of time a child spends in foster care varies depending on the situation.

“Our goal is to get them back either with family members or with their parents,” Colson said. “We provide services to the parents to try to get their life straight where they can provide a safe place.”

More than 50 % of foster children in Chilton County are eventually reunited with their biological parents after they have met the necessary requirements.

Those interested in becoming foster parents can contact Chilton County DHR at 205-280-2000.

Colson said the department can send individuals information and a new class starts in January.

Potential foster parents must be able to pass a criminal background check, attend 10 weeks of classes and a home evaluation.